Tailored Tweets

Did you know that Twitter crafts sponsored content based on your browser history? They say it so casual Tailor Twitter to your interests.

I stumbled upon this while weeding through some of the new Twitter releases last week.

There is an option to turn this off, and I was quick to want to uncheck-mark the personalization—then realized I actually enjoy that my content is relevant to my recent website searches.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.35.47 AM


Depending on what I am browsing in, I am searching items for clients and that keeps my content relevant to me.

I wonder how much data they have on me?

Twitter honors Do Not Track (DNT), which is a privacy preference that you can set in most web browsers.

Many browsers do not educate their users on this issue, here is CHROME’s take on it.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.39.16 AM










Do Not Track:
For Windows: In the App list, tap Settings, flick left to Applications, tap Internet Explorer, and then tap Advanced Settings.

​Chrome. To turn on or off DNT in Chrome, go to Chrome menu > Settings > (Advanced) Privacy, then select your preferred option for “Do Not Track.” …

On the flip side, if you are looking for relevant content within your Twitter HOME FEED please enable it or leave it as is.


Always thinking, here is my home office desk

Stay focused and in the loop on your personal data,
MN Design Gal



Stay connected

I still write handwritten notes, cards and thank yous—I don’t see this ageless tradition going away. But Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook IM, Twitter… these are my main social apps at this moment and it becomes harder write a letter when these apps are so handy. I use each app in very different ways to target the audience that makes most sense depending on the content I want to share.


photo from internet—unknown site

Think about this—we are all content managers every day of our lives. That cute random photo moment of the cuddly baby, the cute heels you decided to sport in the middle of the winter, Justin Timberlake’s newest music video via YouTube, a new job—that you can finally tell your closest friends about. This is all content.

Who should see this? Who needs to know first? Who do you NOT want to see it?
Who can see this and make you famous? (Ok that one may be just me)

My sister is in Manhattan Beach, California and my brother is in Charleston, North Carolina. Both my parents were not on Facebook 4 years ago until my brother was set off to the Air Force… Now both my parents are active on Snapchat and I get messages from them more than I do my 13-year old cousin.

The reason for this, is simply being able to stay connected. It doesn’t matter if it’s a postcard in the mail, a emoticon over text message, a random moment during the day through a Snapchat or a sunset picture posted on Instagram.

Instagram_sunset_andmoreMy Dad just asked me again this weekend if SnapChat was on the iPad—my 75-year old Grandma would love this app to be kept in the loop.

I try to keep up with the updates and share with followers, friends and yes even my parents and grandparents, because technology is ever-changing. Snapchat’s latest update is adding Emoji’s to their address book / friend list. Learn more via Mashable.

Also last week, emoji keyboard was changed with iOS 8.3 update that includes skin tones of some faces. Learn more via Apple themselves.


Pick the right channels to spread your content—remember a good handwritten letter or note is still the best to share that update too.

Always thinking with her iPhone 6 Plus in hand,

MN Design Gal

My cousins who are SnapChat and more social savvy then ever before.


Valentine Gift (well sort of)

The husband sent me a link and was super excited to show me something he found on social media this week. It was a Facebook contest that had a prize of FREE EYE SURGERY. Free? Is that too hard to believe.

Well, after a glass of wine and thinking further about the best part of way to market myself to possibly win this… that was to show the first year ever that I had my glasses– then the posting went live.

Valentines Day gift 5th grade

Please take a minute to VOTE for this 5th grader with glasses and braces so that my dream of Lasik Eye Surgery can come true this year. (And Steve can get out of the dog house for such a socially-driven none romantic gift).

Contest ends Valentine’s Day so that is only leaves Thursday to vote (on your desktop computer) because the Facebook app isn’t compatible with mobile devices (even though over half of Facebook users are on mobile.)

I’ll leave you with pictures of this MN Design Gal in glasses over the years… the memories.

Pinneditlivedit Pinneditliveditgoogle glassGlasses GalshoulderpadsSeptember_lookTricia_onmacwork

Did you vote yet? Please, for real, then tell your neighbor at work to do throw a vote in too. http://bit.ly/NOglasses4vday

Then share with your Facebook friends. It’s good karma. Trust me.

Tricia jo


geeking out – YAHOO! logo creative team investigation

Today I was inspired by Marissa Mayer’s newest Tumblr post with candid thoughts on how she was involved in the logo design and her love for Illustrator. My opinion the 30 logos in 30 days was simply a PR marketing stunt to create buzz around the logo launch rather than poll and gather insight for the official design. The new logo was introduced live on their website late 9/4/13.


Marissa goes on to tell us in her post that they spent a weekend designing the logo. “We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail. ” read more

Did they order pizza Saturday night? Did Marissa make eggs Sunday morning or bring in Breakfast Burritos from Taco Bell? Was it a brilliant discussion listening to jazz music or a messy music blaring ideation session with PBR and junk food.


Who was there?

Marissa starts with giving credit to Bob Stohrer, who is the SVP, Brand Creative at Yahoo! He has only been there 8 months so it seems like someone who may have a working past with Marissa. He has the writing background so I could see him being the one that concepted “old school” on the chalk or white board. Bob may even inspired the intern to come up with the CAD-like architecture edge inspiration. Did I mention he used to work at Virgin? This picture proves he did, sitting with Richard Branson talking strategy as his cover page on Facebook. Will Marissa make the cut one day as the coverpage icon? [She would be my FB coverpage]Capture_talkwhands_Bob

Second on the team, we have our copywriter, the SVP counter part Mr. Marc DeBartolomeis, VP, Creative Director – Brand at Yahoo! Marc joined 7 months ago, so obviously Bob needed a wing man to go with his mad writing skills. They worked together back in their NFL days and Virgin Mobile. Marc had left and worked for the Madison Square garden where he drove MSG Entertainment’s creative and brand. Want to be his Facebook friend?
The designer is Ruslan Khaydarov who is the Visual Designer at Yahoo! Marissa referred to him as “Russ Khaydarov”. Nothing showed up with the name search or with Russell. So I wonder if there will be a spelling error with him being nicknamed Rus (with 1 s). Rus has the background of being at Razorfish and has a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from Drexel in Philadelphia. Want to learn more? Check out his Pinterest account or of course friend him on Facebook [I bet you won’t get a response].
Then there was an intern. He comes the Big Apple as Yahoo!’s summer intern from ITP a Master program through NYU. With the name Max Ma you know he must be brilliant and he is actually from Beijing, with a portfolio that Senior Art Directors would drool over. Max is on Twitter and wasn’t afraid to check-in and show his friends and colleagues where he was working. If you notice, he even says “I will come back”. Will he back with a hired-on position?Capture_internFoursquare
Marissa gives credit to the video to Max “Here’s a fun video (created by our amazing intern Max) that animates the design notes:”
Lets watch it again together.
Now, I’m not going to get into my opinion on the Yahoo! new logo, because frankly whatever Marissa goes with I will support and I respect their design vision. It makes sense to redesign after 18 years and it seems like the perfect opportunity for her to shine some positive light on change while the team is working hard on some secretive programming and product launches.
What did we learn today? Within every job, it will influence the future teams and jobs you will have later on in your career. I’m sure if you would have asked Rob and Marc back in their NFL days if they ever would want to re-design the Yahoo! logo, they would have laughed that one up. Yeah- right!
Also get a really cool internship, practice your video animation skills and you could be on the Yahoo! team one day. Or just aim for your favorite agency, brand or product.
Yahoo! is currently looking for a Media intern and a lot more. Apply Now, or just click and dream.
Stay whimsical, yet sophisticated, modern and fresh, with a nod to your history.

Content and information was based on Tumblr post by Marissa, that I read on 9/5/13. The search on the team names were made by Google (sorry Yahoo!) and were just assumptions and public profiles. Nothing was alternated or confirmed by the resources. 

Agency Content Matters

Content has always been something that comes second nature for me and I gravitate to and am always observing things and taking notes.

Facebook is the most popular channel, but surprisingly some agencies don’t mess with. mono actually has never made a page, and I was told by a past employee, that they have no desire at that time to be part of that space. It was their image to be slightly mysterious. [how cool right?]

But that isn’t the norm, about 98% of all advertising agencies, design shops, creative firms have a Facebook page to talk about themselves, show how they celebrate Birthdays, post shameless summer party photos, share photos from their taco-themed Tuesdays and share how they give back to local charities.


When a friend starts at a company or your interested in working at a new place, what is one of the first things you do? [Facebook them of course!] It’s a very secretive way to snoop and it gives you personal and real-time insight to get to know a possible future employer. See their space before visiting, understand that they have clients they hang out, how they work hard and play hard, the sometimes stocked keg in the kitchen or the cool Ice T and Ice Cube is on their pop machine.

What companies also forget is that Facebook is another place where client’s engage and look at their agency too. They want to see their agency having fun, making a difference and being really cool and different. I can clearly remember working at a web design firm that a corporate client [I’ll just tell you it was General Mills] and they would come in every other Friday and they were just excited to crack a beer and play video games and hang-out with “their agency folks”. Why is that? Because the agency part is the fun part to their corporate jobs! They don’t want breakfast meetings with plain bagels and bad coffee with mini creamers. They want afternoon meetings with beers on the table, giant bags of chips and 90’s music playing while you sit in the coolest and most comfortable conference room they have ever been in!

Where agencies miss the bar is spotlighting their employees within their social content. Lets face it, you can have a really cool name, do fairly great work but if your employees are stale, boring and un-entertaining that client will leave you because there is another agency that does just as great work but has a ping-pong table, a killer view in their conference room and the people just get your needs and make you feel so comfortable – also that Creative Director is just so damn cool the client secretly wants to be him.

make it happen today

How to solve this? Have fun with your employees and let them come to YOU with your social content too.

Example: At an agency I know, they had a employee craft fair. [Neat idea thought from an employee of course!] What was showcased was employee’s original talents, crafts and photography that they did on their own that you never knew about them because of their titles and day jobs. The entire event was just a few hours at the agency but a month’s worth of social content! Spotlight the production manager as a talented jewelry maker, take a picture of her with hand-made earrings on she made for another co-worker and post that. Or the quiet developer that you never knew his name actually paints guitar picks! Even cooler he actually has one from Elvis, [not a true story but that could happen].

Employees love talking about themselves and sharing things if the right people at the agency ask them about it. Before you know it, the employee is sharing their picture on FB with their friends and their old college roommate is the data analyst you have been looking for and you not only have a new hire, but that same guitar painting guy was going to start looking for a job. But now, he likes it because his distance friend is there and he feels like his employer not only cares about him personally but he feels loyal to them.

The small entertaining things work too. Take a picture of the Friday beer cart and post that a few times a month [not every Friday of course that deadline for the client was killer]. Did a partner or Creative Director speak somewhere for a local nonprofit? Did someone go and take a picture of him? Did you write a blog post about it or at least post the picture tagging the organization? You just missed out on thousands of impressions and that speaking gig lost his chance to triple in value.

agency culture - beer cart

I took this picture and made these employees laugh to capture the Friday beer trolley invented by this employee and friend.

When client’s visit, remember they check-in too and some will even tag you on Twitter. Twitter is slightly different then Facebook in my opinion with agency content because you want to also be forward-thinking and have new business at top of mind always.

When that same client tweeted your agency did you reply back to them? That can be a negative feeling for that client without you even knowing. Remember to check your social channels and respond and thank NEW re-tweeters and always be mindful of client tweets and remember if you want that digital business you better be watching them in their digital space.

Finally, I have to note that a very small 10-person design shop that I worked at wasn’t on any social sites and didn’t want to be. I convinced them they should be because the website didn’t say ANYTHING about the people that worked there. So after multiple weeks of selling and then educating the company and 4 partners on what Facebook was (other then stalking old High School friends) we launched. Not only was it successful and but even got all 4 partners to get on Facebook themselves and they found those old friends and past co-workers who then noticed and starting bringing in new business. I moved on from that job months later after getting social up and running but the Facebook page and Twitter (even though it’s just posts that are posted on FB that I totally don’t recommend but is good for these guys for now) is still up and running. The content still continues to be new and it’s even better then I could have imagined because a production artist with some passion was added to the admin to maintain the content as well. The social creative is still up with what I designed and created for them and it’s part of their agency culture to update it.

This blog post is near and dear to this MN Design Gal’s heart, because I’m so passionate about agency branding and online content that I find myself thinking of new and re-branding strategies in my sleep. [nerd]

your agency design gal – designing my path through life one post at a time

pic of this mndesigngal

Nacho Mama

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13. That means your mom, any new mothers, (including three of my best gal pals and their 3 sons) should be celebrated all the way up to those hip-old Grannies, (my Nanny Carole and Nanny Joan of course).

my mom on the lake

My Mom Candee with her daughters Trina (My younger sisters) and Me

To follow-up on my May Day Basket social post for the Cedar Floral Design Studio. By the way, did you LIKE them yet? They are at 32 Likes just 5 days after delivering the May Day baskets to total of 12 local businesses resulting in a possible 32,000+ impressions.
The Like stat is a bit lower than what I had expected, but for a small locally owned flower shop this is very good. Lets face it, I’m not working on a National brand right? Now that we have hit past 30 Likes, Facebook activates the insights panel. That means one can now get all nerdy with the insights, impressions and amount of reach including an analyse of the demographic that is currently Liking the page. Waiting at least 1 week to generate the insights works best, and even 1 month is even better.

Facebook Live Comments So remember your MaMa on Sunday, a new Mother (whom could even be your wife) or that is a friend or family member and to share the love with not only flowers (from Cedar Floral Design Studio) but to make them feel special and thank them for their hard-work and love.

nacho mama,
your mn design gal 

Not a Mother- they aren't mine

Steve and Kael (3 weeks old), Caden (6 mos old) not my kids- my best friend’s boys.

Did You Receive Your May Day Basket?

May Day is today, the 1st of May and it comes around every year. I can remember as a kid, my lovely mom Candee would make little May Day baskets and we would take them to neighbors. We would ring their doorbell and smile and/or leave it on their doorstep. It was a strange little tradition, but always put a smile on people’s faces and my mom especially loved getting a little crafty with us kids.

Well, welcome to 2012 and not only are little kids not suppose to ring door bells and run away or take candy from strangers, but who has the time to do this kind gesture?

Today, I delivered 31,038 May Day Flower Baskets. The baskets were super cute with white daisies and bright Spring flowers to cheer up strangers, neighbors and friends.

Ok, this was all done online, the social clubhouse Facebook to be exact. Social media has taken away the hand written notes, cards and birthday messages and replaced it with a post on your wall. (Sometimes that written note from Grandma is literally written on your Facebook wall, including the indents and a love you Grams.)

This cyber May Day basket concept came after talking with my mom about the May Day post for her work’s Facebook page. She reminded me to write something like “Hooray for May Day!” or “Happy May 1! May Day is here!” I took that suggestion to the next level making a hands-on sharing opportunity to increase brand awareness for Cedar Floral Design Studio and increase their likes.


The tricky part with posting a picture on someone’s wall as a Page is some have altered their settings so you can’t do so. Most cases the local businesses I wanted to deliver to had the front door wide open for me to ding-dong.

The businesses included with their page and number of Likes:
Chamber of Commerce in Owatonna : 218 Likes
Owatonna People’s Press : 358 Likes
Owatonna Library : 574 Likes
Steele County Free Fair : 3,102 Likes
Old Town Bagels : 370 Likes

The most robust business was a company that had started in Owatonna with over 25,000+ Likes, Josten’s. This one may have a lot of likes, but the odds of having them do a shout-out like down the street business Hair-i-Tage with 603 Likes, is pretty low.

Hair-i-tage Shoutout

The timing of the deliveries was at 4pm and Cedar Floral Design Studio was at 9 Likes total for their page. Within 3 hours they were at 16 Likes. (Not quite what you may be thinking with the amount of deliveries, but makes sense for the level of awareness this brand has and the factor of region.)

Cedar Floral Design Studio Facebook

Most of the page viewers may be night reviewers, but the page owners most likely would have been online during the day and not delivering at 10am may have effected the May Day activity slightly.

The design of the May Day basket was also taken into consideration. If you see the original that is pictured above you clearly see the “From Your Friends then the logo”, but some page owners but get scared with the branding so it is designed to look like a cheerful May basket without the branding. When someone clicks on it to see further though, they will see the logo and then also most importantly my tagging to the Cedar Floral Design Studio page itself. That is what is most important, is to get that user to go on my page and LIKE and possibly get engaged with my content.

This idea is just one of the many that I have to execute in my social media designing career. Stay tuned for the summary on results later this week and also for more of this MN design gal’s social thinking.

May you have a great rest of your May Day!

your flower delivery gal

Creative Branding @ #SXSW

How many time have you said to yourself “why didn’t I think of that?

SXSW just finished up this week, which hosted some of the most creative brands, social people and more. Business Insider (which I read weekly) inspired me by their post 10 Creative Startup Promotions at SXSW.

I had to highlight a few of my favorites I saw from friends and colleagues tweets over the weekend.

What: The Owl mobile was out and there were Owl-Sightings all over instagram and Twitter this weekend.
Why: The Owl was a hoot! Did anyone ride inside that though? That is the real question.

American Express
What: Hosted the Amex Sync Show with Jay-Z (#JAYZsyncshow), featuring a live demo of the new Twitter hashtag promotion Amex launched last week that enables card members to save when they tweet customized hashtags for a group of launch partners.
Why: American Express has put its money where its mouth is when cozying up to tech companies. In addition to Twitter, it has entered into significant partnerships with Facebook and Foursquare in the past year.

Real-life example of the #JAYZsyncshow.

What: Kraft is applying the wisdom that the way to the heart is through the stomach by hosting Oreo-branded ice cream socials. Kraft Mobile, an interactive experience, will feature a mac-and-cheese truck, games, Wi-Fi hotspots and charging stations.
Why: Mr. Bough’s SXSW plan is to “connect with developers, entrepreneurs and startups.” And frankly just have some really good hang-over-food. Saw many pictures of the mac and cheese mobile.

Loosing power? Plug-in at people wearing chargers!
FedEx is trying to come back from the boring brand to something that is hip and shows their users that they care and get it. Why not? This was for sure one of my favorite ideas. I had to ask Brittany “Was he hot?”

NikeFuel Lot, which seemed from the many pictures through instagram and on twitter it was just a really cool light display? Not attending the SXSW, I couldn’t tell you what the sound was like or how strong the drinks were.
Why: Nike had to find somewhere they would have their logo in a simplistic way right?

Me Like!

Overall the #SXSW feed was entertaining all weekend, and it made me very jealous of the colleagues that were out there learning and experiencing these brands. Just another reason for me to be with a brand that needs a networker, educator, like me representing them at South By Southwest and taking notes to expand our clients and get their brand in the middle of the action. Maybe not at SXSW but taking that and pushing the envelope at the local conferences and conventions that always need some re-inventing creativity.

Visit SXSW.com to learn more overall on the conference. Three highlights for the conference website for me were:
Start-up Village
(One of my favorite categories that make an entrepreneurial like me smile.)
Interactive Parties (Your invited to all?!)
Also did you see you can make your own conference schedule? Thank you! How many times have you been to a conference and have to circle and mark-up your print-out?

This concludes my #SXSW wrap-up on the creative promotions by some brands that stood out in my mind; along with some things that I look forward to when attend my first interactive conference. I’m actually heading to Austin in June for the National American Advertising Federation conference representing Ad 2 Minneapolis and social media; but I don’t think they will touch the experience from this past week. Or maybe it has to do with Austin, Texas and I can’t wait to find out!

Enjoy Conference-Season,
mn design gal

AdAge.com Top Brand Article

Judge Your Facebook Page by it’s Cover

Facebook Cover Picture: Do you have one?

All timelines including a cover picture becomes public March 30, 2012, but some admins have pushed them sooner you may have noticed. This means that anyone who visits your page will be able to see your cover image. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
Facebook tells us that covers may not include:
i.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com“; (a test dummy for this post only)
ii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Read More
Your profile picture represents your Page on other parts of Facebook, like in news feed, like normal. Use the logo or another image that represents your Page. Choose an image that’s square and at least 180 pixels wide.
The Facebook Timeline profile cover image is sized at 851px by 315px. I received a tweet reply to my cover page comment, that countered my directions from a social media manager from Arnold World Wide. It made me think that Facebook could be tricking me, so the only way to really find out was to design my own and put it to the test. Right?
I decided to try the measurements that were given to me and make my first Cover Page. In Photoshop I started a document that was exactly 815 pixels by 315 pixels with a white background and at 300 DPI.
For the design I featured a few of my agency’s work on the right-side to make what we do day-to-day for clients, to come to life for the users.
Partners & Hunt Cover Image Facebook
No error messages were given to me on the 851 x 351 pixels, but I also had my imagery at 300 DPI because some screens are even better than and I don’t want my imagery to look blurry if I can help it.
Simplifying the main profile image is key on these new designs. You no longer have to make your logo fit into that tiny awkward space or even that thumbnail. It becomes more of icon that could go with the background or makes people wonder who that is and want to learn more.
I also really like the idea of having your team shine on the cover page. Here is another concept I have for Partners & Hunt Creative Group that shows more of the creative group themselves which could be fitting for some businesses and/or agencies.
Cover concept shown below in a Facebook mock-up template I designed.
Facebook Cover Mockup Template by Tricia
Moving forward also constructed a cover page for This or That Ideas & Services, which is a small business that focuses on creative thinking for busy people. Notice the top left Twitter icon and a few images to demonstrate the creative practices. I believe I’m going against some rules a bit because Facebook encourages users tell stories with the cover with just photos, but having this brand experiment with the phrases and quick reads was my goal because I’m still in the experiential phase with this social environment.
This or That Ideas & Services Facebook Cover
Go Like This or That for yourself and let me know your thoughts on the cover page concept!

Another new feature is the direct messaging to page owners that has never been allowed. In the past, I always found myself going through the page trying to find the email address within the info to get more information on something. But now this will be the quickest way to DM and get an answer on the product, place or brand.

Notifications about new messages will appear right in your admin panel.
After writing my blog post I found this tell-all YouTube video that did a better job on the updates. I guess I could have just embedded this video as my post.
Learn a little bit more from Facebook themselves (not hosted by Zach but a random person that looks smart and is great at voice-over)

I’ll keep learning and exploring! I also find myself thinking that I would be a one-of-kind Community Manager or Social Engagement, I have that creative edge to know what can be done, I could execute it myself quickly and efficiently and my ideas for content are never-ending. Now if I could only figure out how to show those skills off?

Like Me or comment on this post,

you MN social gal

Most of you may not know, but I wear glasses most days to work- it's my nerdy side